While large purple eggplants are good, there is a wide variety of eggplants with different colors and sizes to plant in your garden.
Provide them with warm soil, warm place, and are evenly watered and free from stress, and they’ll gift you with flavor and beauty not forgetting to arm yourself with the right gardening tools.
Nowadays, there are still lots of cultivars of white eggplant. Some are more lately cultivated hybrids, while others are old heirloom varieties.
The fruits of eggplants are available in all sizes and shapes; oval and plump, thin and long, or round and small.
These plants are low-calorie, high-fiber that are rich in nutrients and offer lots of potential health advantages.
From helping with weight loss and controlling blood sugar to decreasing the risk of heart disease, eggplants are a tasty and easy addition to any nourishing diet. These varieties are very versatile and fit properly into lots of meals.
Selecting the best eggplant to grow
This variety comes with a very short shelf life, so it will be best to purchase the day you want to use them. Get an eggplant that has a smooth, spotless skin.
The varieties with tiny pits aren’t fresh and brown spots, or darkening is a sign of bruising.
They are mature when pressing on them lightly, and they provide slightly but bounce back into shape.
If you press a section of the eggplant and it stays dented, it’s overripe; do not purchase it.
Whatever eggplant shape or color you want to purchase makes sure you get varieties that feel heavy for their size and feature shiny, smooth skin.
Purple vs. white eggplant – which is better?
In comparison to purple varieties, most of the white cultivars feature thinner skin.
The thin skin means they bruise easily during transportation, which leads to the produce at the store looking less-than-perfect.
The eggplant is a fruit that’s fit for human consumption, and is available in different hues. You can often get it in purple and white hues.
But when most people hear the name of eggplant, what comes to mind is the color purple. This type of color is widely common than the white variety.
When talking about purple and white eggplant, they aren’t the same. The shade itself makes both types different.
Let’s discuss the purple and white eggplant’s skin. The white type features hard skin compared to the purple type.
When you are cooking, you have to peel off the white eggplant’s skin. However, this isn’t required when cooking the purple type.
Furthermore, the white types are good when fried, steamed, or baked since they feature hard skin.
Once you peel off the skin, the purple variety features a greenish flesh while the white variety features a white color. When you compare the size, the white variety is smaller to purple variety.
Unlike the purple variety, the white eggplants are less creamy, denser, and bitter. Another variation between the white and purple varieties is the seeds. When compared to purple ones, the white varieties have more seeds. In addition, it can be seen that white varieties have less acid.
Although purple varieties are popular, white types have become all the rage. When considering cultivation, purple varieties are still the cultivated types.
The benefits of the eggplant skin
Based on research, most of the bitterness that comes with consuming these eggplants originates from compounds in the skin.
Some of these white eggplants feature a much sweeter flavor compared to purple varieties. This opens up the likelihood of new and unanticipated taste experiences. Growing this variety is simple, where the summer season is warm and long.
Where you have short summer months, eggplants mature fast, and you get medium to small varieties that you can grow in containers easily. It like growing Lithops.
If you are growing peppers, you can grow varieties of eggplants as well. The fruit might be white, purplish-black, or all colors in between; some eggplants have green or orange fruits.
Popular varieties of white eggplant to grow in the garden
This is another hybrid that’s ideal for short-season growers. The plant reaches maturity in only 65 days as it is vigorous and very productive. Paloma produces lightly ribbed, bell-shaped eggplants.
Paloma variety has a creamy and mildly sweet flavor, and the thin-skinned fruits reach a squat 3.5 inches wide by 4.5 inches in length.
- White Comet
White comet is a Japanese variety that has quite a few seeds and no sour flavor. These hybrids mature in 70 days and reach a length of two to three feet.
White Comet will produce elongated, ivory fruit that can reach an enormous length of ten inches and a width of two inches. This variety produces fruits that are meaty, sweet, and thin-skinned.
- Snowy eggplant
This variety is a short-season cultivar, which produces cylinder-shaped, big fruits on upright, sturdy plants that at maturity reach a length of two to three feet.
Snowy is very productive and will mature in approximately 60 days, and is perfect for containers.
This variety is open-pollinated, so it’s to save seeds to plant in the future. Snowy is a snow-colored variety of eggplant, which reaches a length of eight to ten inches.
These fruits have a mild, sweet, and delicate taste without sour undertones. Fruits of Snowy hold up well when you are cooking. This is due to their fine texture and medium-to-thick skins.
- Clara eggplant
This is an Italian hybrid that will produce an abundant harvest in 65 to 70 days. This creamy, bright, and early maturing Clara fruits are cylinder-shaped.
Also, they have a width of 4 to 5 inches and a length of 6 to 7 inches. With skin that’s thin and bruises easily, you will want to use this variety fast once they ripen.
This variety features a mild flavor with nutty undertones and a creamy, meaty texture.
- Gretel eggplant
Gretel variety produces clusters of tiny, pure ivory-colored eggplant. This is one of the earliest maturing eggplants as it reaches maturity in only 50 to 60 days.
The Gretel plant can grow to a height of three to four feet with a two to three-foot spread at maturity and thrives in containers.
This variety features elongated fruit that is often picked small, at a length of 3 to 4 inches. If you leave them to mature, they develop purple stripes.
Gretel produces sweet and never bitter fruits, with skin that stays tender even when you harvest late, and few seeds.
- Japanese white egg
This is a heavy-yielding heirloom variety that will yield egg-shaped fruit. Japanese white egg ripens early. This container-friendly variety can reach maturity in approximately 65 days.
The fruits of Japanese white eggs look like big eggs, with a length of roughly two to three inches, and at their pick, they have a creamy and rich flavor.
But they can develop a sour flavor when they turn yellow. For this reason, ensure that you harvest this variety before the color begins to change.
- Ghostbusters eggplant
Ghostbuster varieties are hybrids that offer a mid-season harvest, which matures in 72 to 80 days. These eggplants can get very big.
With the semi-spreading growth habit, they Ghostbuster plants offer, it is not strange for this variety to grow to a height of five feet with a spread at maturity of four feet.
The oval-shaped fruits of this variety measure up to a width of four inches and a height of 6 to 7 inches.
Ghostbuster fruits retain a sweet taste until they are excessively ripe, after which they turn yellow and develop a sour flavor. For this reason, ensure that you pick them before turning yellow.
- Thai White Ribbed
Thai white ribbed produces fruits on plants with a height of two to three feet. It reaches maturity in 90 days, so it’s perfect in areas with a long growing season.
You can get this variety in white and purple; however, Thai white ribbed certainly often gets bitterer than other eggplant varieties.
To reduce this, make sure you get rid of the seeds before you cook. In addition, brining them before you cook will help in removing their sour essence.
This variety of eggplant works perfectly when stewing or using many spices. This makes them perfect for adding to curries.
Thai eggplant produces fruits that have a flattened circular shape with deep ribbing. Thai eggplants’ three to four-inch fruits offer a mild taste and a creamy and smooth texture.
- Casper eggplant
This eggplant variety is a French heirloom cultivar, which is unique among eggplants.
Unlike many varieties of veggies that prefer heat, Casper flourishes in the cooler days of growing months.
This slows down its production in the most scorching part of the summer seasons. But it’s still sensitive to frost, so do not plant it with the cold season crops.
Casper has an ivory color and ripens early, which reaches maturity in about 70 days. What good news for people living in areas with short summer months.
These are people who do not always get enough time to bring the varieties, which takes a long time to mature all the way to harvesting.
Conversely, those living in areas with hot, long summer months would do well to choose a different variety of eggplant. At maturity, these plants can reach a height of two to three feet.
The elongated fruit is nearly completely free from compounds, which cause a sour taste.
These come with a mild, nearly mushroom-like taste, together with a silky texture and meaty flesh. Casper varieties are best picked when they reach a length of six inches.
This cultivar is open-pollinated, so saved seeds can grow true if you isolate the plant from other varieties. You can get Casper seeds in packets of different sizes.
Tips for growing the best eggplant
Expect eggplant flea beetles
Eggplant flea beetles make it hard to grow eggplant varieties. These small hoppers make tiny holes in leaves of nightshade family plants; tomatoes, potatoes, and wild hosts such as jimsonweed and horsenettle.
To prevent your plants from getting attacked by the eggplant flea beetle, you should plant on a raised garden, in dark-colored nursery containers, of as long as you can.
Pot growing plants usually evade damage, as eggplant flea beetle does not go onto patios and decks looking for host plants. Additionally, the dark pots will help in warming the roots on hot summers.
Eggplant is among the few veggies that do not mind warm roots, so these grow perfectly in large pots as long as you give the plants lots of water. Big, vigorous eggplant may outgrow the damage caused by flea beetle.
Also, the young plants are simple to protect using row covers created from tulle (lightweight, excellent, stiff netting), which helps keep at bay most of these beetles but doesn’t retain heat.
When the flowering starts, you can remove the covers so that bees can get to the flowers.
This is the best time for installing stakes to ensure the plants don’t fall over as they become full fruits.
Offer the eggplant timely feedings
Approximately 6 weeks after you plant, when the plants flower and set their fruit first, they gain from additional nutrients.
You can soak the plants in water-soluble plant food, or side-dress using compost manure or organic fertilizer.
You can fertilize once more in the late summer when the plants hold a large set of fruits.
Pot-holding eggplant requires regular feeding, although you need to watch out for too much buildup of salt, which can cause growth retardation.
Every 14 days or so, use clean water to drench the containers to leach out built-up salts.
Starting eggplant seeds late
There’s never a rush to start the seeds of eggplant, as the plants grow perfectly under warm weather.
The seedlings of eggplants grow fast thanks to their wide leaves, gaining size quickly than peppers or tomatoes.
If your growing season is warm and long and you use a split season plan to plant, it’s best to start seeds in mid summertime for a fall crop. You can set out your seedlings during a period of cloudy conditions.
Inviting native eggplant pollinators
Wind alone can fertilize self-fertile eggplant flowers; however, bees will improve fruit size and fruit set.
Solitary bees are some of the best pollinators, small sweet bees, bumblebees, and carpenter bees- who vibrate the flowers to help in shaking out pollen.
If you have just a few plants or no pollinators, you can pat a dry artist’s paintbrush in the open flowers to help hand pollinate.
You can also use a vibrating toothbrush to touch the back of the flowers. This will help in stimulating a visit from a bee.